Letters to the Editor

Vendor Policy

To The Editor:

Lawrence White likes to pretend to be the voice of reason (Letters, Sept. 18 – 24, “Vendor policy?”) but his sudden rejection of Councilmember Gerson’s absurd vending proposals ignores historical reality.

What White now describes as Gerson’s “confusing vending plan that would have caused serious harm to street artists,” was in very large part directly inspired by Mr. White.

In numerous previously published letters White applauded, praised and promoted exactly these same plans that he now claims would have “caused serious harm to street artists,” if they were passed. For the entire past 8 years he has viciously and routinely attacked myself and the ARTIST group for our efforts to to stop these exact same proposals from being passed into law.

The completely useless, “years of meetings, negotiations and mediation,” White is referring to, were organized by White, who has also publicly claimed he helped put Gerson in office, held fundraisers for him and was appointed to various panels by Gerson, all of which were about getting these exact same vending “reforms” passed that he now calls, “harmful to artists.”

Gerson’s primary loss was barely confirmed before White began auditioning for Ms. Chin’s attention, and he is still promoting the exact same “ideas.”

The 60 pages of existing N.Y.C. vending laws already makes vending illegally, bootleg vending etc. punishable by arrest, summons and confiscation. Artists have been 100% protected by the First Amendment since ARTIST won our first lawsuit in 1996. Not one new law needs to be passed to protect us.

What I’d offer to Councilmember-to-be Chin as advice on this issue is simple:

Ignore people like White. Encourage the police to enforce the existing laws against those who are clearly illegally vending.

Discourage them from harassing street artists and other legal vendors who are following the laws. That is a plan that can and will work to everyone’s benefit.

Robert Lederman

President of ARTIST

We D.I.D. it

To The Editor:

Re “ Four’s the charm as Chin topples Gerson” (news article, Sept. 18 – 24):

Although Downtown Independent Democrats’ endorsed candidate for City Council, Pete Gleason, did not win, we did defeat the unpopular incumbent, Alan Gerson, and for that D.I.D. is ecstatic. With our support in 2001, Gerson won. Without it in 2009, he lost. 

We are pleased that Margaret Chin (a D.I.D. member) romped to victory. She deserved it with a hard-fought and long-deserved victory. We believe that our intense campaign opposing Gerson, as well as several mailings highlighting his abysmal record, were the deciding factors in his defeat. Pete Gleason’s tough campaign also weakened Gerson.

Challengers to D.I.D.’s district leadership also were soundly defeated. In the 66th Assembly District, Jean Grillo won 76 percent to 24 percent against Noel Jefferson. Paul Newell — Adam Silvera’s recommended candidate to replace him, and most other D.I.D. members’ preferred candidate — also romped against Gerson’s choice out of Village Reform Democratic Club, Avi Turkel, beating him 66 percent to 34 percent. Newell is also a D.I.D. member and will really invigorate the club.

D.I.D. did not endorse after Adam dropped out in late June, but most active members supported Newell, upset with Gerson’s lame attempt at trying to oust D.I.D. district leaders who did not support him. This also proved Gerson’s undoing.

I warned Gerson in the spring that any attempt to oust our district leaders would be met with strong resistance that would likely lead to his defeat. He ignored this sound advice and now lives with the consequences of that decision.

Sean Sweeney

President, Downtown Independent Democrats

Clean up the copy

To The Editor:

Re “Kittens born inside Wall Street’s biggest lion” (news article, Aug. 14 – 20):

I commend the Brotmans for taking in these cats.  I participate in “trap, neuter and return” myself as well as placing friendly cats in homes and I can say firsthand how much work it is.  The entire article was lovely with the exception of the line, “The Brotmans work assiduously to keep the apartment clean, but it still has the unmistakable odor of pets.”  What the hell is that all about?  Why even write that?  I know a lot of people who don’t work hard at all to keep their homes clean and who don’t do anything for animal welfare.  Lazy people like them should be knocked, not people who are working selflessly like the Brotmans.  It was an unnecessary sentence.

 Victoria Booth

Letters policy

Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.